I got a memo from Hillary Clinton this morning. She's reminding those of us who've supported her campaign (yeah, I forked over some cash to elect the first female president; yer goddamn right I did) that it's not over yet. And as much as I'm sure the DNC and the mass media and maybe even most of the country would love it if Hillary would shut the fuck up and go away...I think she's right not to end the process prematurely. I don't love her recent comments equating "hard-working" and "white" - and I'm pissed and disappointed that she hasn't made a strong statement correcting an implication I truly hope she didn't intend - but this race is not over yet. The superdelegates are up in the air, the popular vote is still pretty freakin' close, and the convention hasn't happened yet.
Just like I maintained in 2000 when it was Al Gore, I don't think it's time yet to roll over and give up. I think this is still an open contest, and I'm really glad to see Hillary sticking with it.
And while I have tremendous appreciation for my senator, and will support him whole-heartedly if he's nominated, it's really galling that the gender politics are being completely ignored in this contest. It is unbelievable to me how unremarked this trend has been; people talking about how much they "hate" Hillary Clinton, not because they know her, but because she's "such a bitch" or because she's "playing politics" and "slinging mud" and whatever other horrible crimes have earned not just the usual level of distaste many reasonable people have for political creatures, but out and out hatred. This column from Marie Cocco really hit the nail on the head, in terms of pointing out just how completely acceptable misogyny really is in our culture. It's so unconscious that we don't even notice it, and when it's so pervasive in that way....how could it possibly not be part of a Presidential race involving the first truly viable female candidate? (Furthermore, how fucking pathetic is it that it's taken this long for there to BE a viable female candidate? Not to mention that she's only the second female candidate to even grace a major party presidential ticket...EVER.)
Misogyny is real. It happens every day. It happens when decent, well-meaning men presume that their wives are taking de facto responsibility for taking care of the house and the kids. It happens when I get an e-mail from my company's "Working Women's Group" inviting me to a seminar titled "The Role of Image and Presence in the Workplace," that promotes itself thus: "we will address getting the maximum from the visual and vocal factors that have an impact on your image and presence while minimizing distracting behaviors"...because goodness knows that women's visual and vocal factors don't have the same freedom that men's do. Misogyny happens when I (yeah, me) insult my male friends by calling them girls ("Dude, are you a *girl*? Stop whining!") (I am working on this, obviously.). It's everywhere, it's pervasive, and it's not fucking okay.
And, in this presidential race, as much as people want to call Hillary slimy and grasping and talk about how she and Bill are soulless power-junkies, as much as people want to say she's shady and a liar and accuse her of pandering and murder (Vince Foster!!) and all manner of scandal, as much as people throw names like "bitch" and "ball-buster" and "Harpy" and use words like "shrill" and "hysterical" and as much as they want to compare Hillary to fictional characters and such...I think maybe these people have stopped seeing Hillary as a person, as a woman who's worked very hard - who's scrambled the same way ALL politicians scramble (and yes, Mr. Obama, my darling Senator who I love and adore and voted for and will surely do again, you *are* a politician and you play the same twisted games as other politicians do, deny it all you want!) - who's done what she felt had to be done to serve the good of the people. She's no worse than any other politician...and I think she has a chance to be much better, even if only because she's following the worst President in history and total shit would be an improvement.
The truth I see is that the underlying message (whether or not the people spouting this misogynistic rhetoric realize it) is: "You are a girl. This is a Man's Job. Stop trying to do What Men Do, and get back in the fucking kitchen, bitch."
I'm with you, Hillary, in spirit and in pocketbook. This isn't a fucking hissy fit, it's the goddamned most important Presidential Race in recent history. Fuck anybody who implies that standing up for your beliefs until it's truly over is akin to terrorism. The good of the "party," the good of the country, is best served by the right person in the job, and until every voter has a chance to say otherwise, that person's last name is Rodham-Clinton.
Loud-mouthed liberal feminist. Anarchist knitter. Tequila-drinking artsy-smartsy fat chick. Bluesy folk-rock singer-songwriter. Rebel with too many causes. Quirky eclectic pagan poet. Paradoxical intuitive smartass. Sarcastic brainiac insomniac. You know, for starters.